Tag Archives: Craft Beers


By Sam Johnson & Northern Whisper Brewing Co.

It wasn’t that long ago that being a beer-drinker was a choice between Lager, Bitter and Mild, or perhaps an exotic German Pilsner if you were lucky. But, gone are those days! The beer scene has never been as exciting and dynamic with a wealth of options now available from Belgium, America, Scandinavia and… Rossendale?

While the small town in the Irwell Valley, famed for its dry ski slope, might not first jump out as the natural home for pioneers of the Craft Beer world, the guys over at Northern Whisper Brewing Co. are certainly doing their part in tackling what they describe as the stupid ‘sameyness’ of the beer market of old.

Brothers, Barney and Josh Vines, and Carmelo Pillitteri (all from Rossendale) founded the Brewery in 2017. The idea for the brewery, however, had been bubbling away for some years before; Carmelo had been brewing behind his family restaurant since the start of 2012, while Barney & Josh had been holding beer festivals on their family farm in Helmshore for a number of years.


During a chance meeting in October 2016 Carmelo agreed to let Josh start collecting the spent grain produced during the brewing process to feed to his rare breed pigs. 4 months later when asking about collecting that week’s grain Josh received the following text from Carmelo:


The rest, as they say, is history!

“The past 12 months have been a whirl wind! In that time we have founded the brewery, developed a range of 13 beers, opened two tap rooms, one in Rawtenstall and one at our brewery in Cloughfold, supplied over 300 establishments across the United Kingdom and last month shipped our first pallet of beer to China. It’s fair to say we have been a little bit busy!”

Although started on a whim, ask the team at Northern Whisper how to define their brewing ethos, and they’ll give you one word: ‘inclusive’. Their range includes everything from traditional British Bitter all the way to the ultra-modern Raspberry Sour, with some IPA’s, an APA, Saison, Stout, Golden Ale, Lager, Witbier and Dunkelweizen all thrown in for good measure. Their aim is, and has always been, to create a range that incorporates a little bit of something for everyone.

At The Whalley Wine Shop we’re certainly seeing the rise in popularity of Craft Beer first hand, with it being one of our fastest growing product categories. The future certainly looks bright for craft beer, that’s for sure;

“I believe the craft beer market is going from strength to strength because today unlike 5 or 6 years ago there is a real interest among consumers in where their food and drink is coming from and how it’s being made. Today the drinking experience starts way before the consumer gets to the bar, social media is awash with pages and groups dedicated to craft beer and a whole hobbyist community has sprung up keen to share and discuss the subject. Two or three years ago four blokes sat in a pub would be discussing the United/City game, today the conversation is dedicated to who’s drinking what and what they are having next; for a passionate brewer like myself it’s fantastic to see!” – Head Brewer, Carmelo.

We’re incredibly proud to be stockists of Northern Whisper beers and have the opportunity to get behind Lancashire’s own budding Craft Beer scene. If you’re ever passing the shop, call in and pick up one of their beers, or if you find yourself over by Rossendale, drop in to one of their ‘Tap Rooms’ and try it out from the guys themselves!


So what does the future hold for Northern Whisper Brewing Co.?

“The aim for the future is just to keep doing what we have been doing for the last 12 months and that’s to get more and more people drinking our beers at home and abroad. We intend to open more Tap Rooms going forward and want to keep things interesting by constantly introducing new and innovative beers.”



BLOG: Exciting Shop News! | Why not come along for the ride?

 By Tom Jones – Owner

Tom gives us an update on the Shop’s future plans and get’s the ball rolling with the first of our new blog series.

Welcome to the first of our new wine blogs!

Here we aim to give you little snippets of informations relating to the shop and our plans for the year, give an overview of interesting debates and questions that are fermenting away under the surface across wine industry and generally plenty of engaging content that appeals to the wine, beer and spirits geek that lives inside all of us at the shop! We are going to have great fun writing it and I hope you will get some enjoyment out of reading it.

A Quick Overview

I am delighted to say that The Whalley Wine Shop had another successful year with 2017 being our busiest year to date. Almost unbelievably we will be 8 years old in April of this year and we could not have achieved either of these things without the continued support from the village and all our fantastic customers, near and far. Without you and your support there would be no Whalley Wine Shop; the team and myself never forget this simple fact!

Time To Get Excited!

Looking ahead and 2018 is going to be an incredibly exciting year for us at the shop with lots of new developments and plans already in place.

Firstly our social media and online communications should get a lot more interesting! This blog is just a starting point; we will have articles, polls, exclusive deals and offers, exciting giveaways, competitions and more on both our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Make sure you follow us and stay tuned so that you never miss out!

We will also be starting a couple of specific mailing lists, tailored to your specific interests. For starters, we will be sending out emails about ‘Fine Wine’, primarily premium wine and collectable wines, as well as a newsletter for our ‘Beer Heads’ regarding new arrivals and hard to find, limited stock craft beers and ales. If you’re interested in either of these, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Will (will@thewhalleywineshop.com) so he can give you more information and get you signed up.

We are also revamping our website (hurrah!), it is long overdue and we can’t wait to have a shiny new one that will keep you all up to date with our offers, events and tastings, what’s in our ‘By The Glass machine’, and keep an eye out for a new feature down the line, allowing you to order and purchase certain products online. Watch this space!

New Stock!

In the short term we have just had our major buying season and it has been a fantastic success! We have already found 50+ new wines that will be landing in-store over the next couple of weeks. We’ve picked out a bunch of exciting wines that caught our eye (and taste buds) due to their fantastic quality and excellent value. Why not head in and check out the new arrivals on our shelves? Make sure you check out of social media channels as we will be posting updates on new stock, as and when they arrive!

Quaffable Cases

Finally we just want to let you know about our seasonal ‘Quaffable cases’. This is a mixed case of 12 wines that offer serious drinkability at a great price: the definition of ‘Quaffable’ wines! It consists of a fixed case of 6 whites and 6 reds for just £74.99 or only £6.25 a bottle. The Spring case will launch in-store on Wednesday 7th of March with Summer, Autumn and Winter cases being released later in the year. This is a great chance to find new wines so if you’d like to reserve one, please contact Jen (jen@thewhalleywineshop.com). We even deliver, too!

That’s it for now; make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming blogs over the next few weeks!

Thank you for reading and thanks again for supporting The Whalley Wine Shop! We are aiming to have a great year and give our customers ever better service and wines. Why not come along for the ride?

Have a great week!
Tom and the Team

Next Week: It’s Time To Talk About Sulphites!

For any information regarding the blog, please contact sam@thewhalleywineshop.com